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Francesco Licausi

Professor Francesco Licausi, Associate Professor of Plant Sciences

  • Francesco Licausi

Francesco's research looks at the molecular oxygen essential for aerobic organisms, including plants. 

Oxygen availability fluctuates, due to variations in metabolic needs and the environment. He studies the mechanisms that allow plant cells to sense oxygen levels and initiate signalling cascades towards developmental trajectories and metabolic adjustments. He also uses synthetic biology approaches to exploit oxygen sensing mechanisms across kingdoms and investigate the evolution of aerobic metabolism, multicellularity and oxygen homeostasis.

Selected publications

Masson M*, Keeley TP*, Giuntoli B*, White MD*, Lavilla Puerta M, Perata P, Hopkinson RJ, Flashman§ E, Licausi F§, Ratcliffe PJ§ Conserved N-terminal cysteine dioxygenases transduce responses to hypoxia in animals and plants. Science, 2019, 365, 65-69

Weits DA, Kunkowska AB, Kamps NCW, Portz K, Packbier NK, Nemec-Venza Z, Gaillochet C, Lohmann JU, Pedersen O, van Dongen JT, Licausi F. An apical hypoxic niche sets the pace over shoot meristem activity. Nature, 2019, 569, 714-717 

Licausi F, Kosmacz M, Weits DA, Giuntoli B, Giorgi FM, Voesenek LACJ, Perata P, Van Dongen JT. Oxygen sensing in plants is mediated by an N-end rule pathway for protein destabilization. Nature, 2011, 479, 419-422